Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Zealand Recap!

Ladies and Gents! Above is the US Women's National Cycling Team and winners of the yellow jersey in the Tour of New Zealand! From Left to Right is: Kristin Armstrong, Evelyn Stevens, Myself, Ally Stacher, Theresa Cliff-Ryan, and Carmen Small.
If you have not been following the tour, I will give you a small recap of all the stages. Stage 1 was a 7k time trial, Kristin Armstrong won, and only 14 seconds behind was Evelyn Stevens and Judith Arndt was finished in third. From day 1 we carried the pressure of keeping the yellow jersey.
Stage 2 was really hard, it was 150k with several climbs, the day started with rain and ended with beautiful sunshine but wind as strong as horses where 2 girls literally got blown off their bikes! It was quite the sight! Kristin got 2nd and held on to the yellow jersey.
By Stage 4, Evie went in a break and gained 6 minutes on the field. She ended up 3rd in the stage, therefore the yellow jersey was passed to Evie from Kristin Armstrong, but that's okay, because we are all buddies here on the US National team and our goal was to win the yellow jersey, which brings us to the final stage, Evie wins the yellow jersey by 1 second!!
I had such great learning experience in NZ. I got to learn new things from great athletes; you could tell they had a level of professionalism because they would pay attention to small details, that I might have missed.
The group had such great chemistry, we shared many laughs, funny stories, and even times of crisis. For example: getting stuck in the New Zealand airport over an apple :)
Even though there was not much time to explore and look around the city, I still had an awesome experience and just being in the area was very cool.
It is always an honor to race with USA across my jersey, and coming home with helping just a small part of Evie's win feels great! Below is a small glimpse of the views of where we were racing (Palmerston North, New Zealand)

Can you believe these shots?! They are only from the airplane that I took!
5 Cool things I learned about New Zealand:
-It is normal to see people walking in public stores without shoes
-Many hamburgers have beets on them! YUM!
-New Zealand imports their Kiwi fruit from Italy
-'Kia Ora' basically means 'Aloha' in the Maori Language
-It is summer time there.... which means, no white Christmas, and easily burned skin!
I leave Monday morning for Santa Barbra, where my team (NOW and Novartis for MS) will be having another team camp, and then we will race San Dimas and Redlands!
Stay Posted!

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